CES 2018 | The Asus XG Station Pro is the grown-up brother to the ROG XG Station 2 eGPU
Where Asus's older eGPU, the XG Station 2, was very much a Republic of Gamers product with its bombastic glowing red and black styling, the Taiwanese OEM seems to be targeting the more reserved and professional crowd with their appropriately dubbed XG Station Pro eGPU.
Doing away with the ROG XG Station 2's glowing plasma tubes and red-and-black color scheme, the Pro sports a dark grey all-aluminum build and finish. This makes the XG Station Pro a much more suitable choice for owners of professionally-styled laptops such as the XPS 15, XPS 13, or MacBook Pro, but at the same time it does make the Pro much harder to distinguish amongst a sea of eGPU enclosures from a variety of manufacturers such as Mantiz, PowerColor, or Razer.
The Pro should be able to handle any current GPU, with a notably external 330 W power supply and internal 2.5 slots of space for GPUs (including cooling solutions and power cables). Asus says that making the power supply external helps reduce heat within the chassis while also reducing noise and size. The company boasts of "0dB technology" for its fans, suggesting silent usage of the eGPU during non-demanding tasks. This is a welcome feature, as we discovered first-hand how terribly loud the Razer Core V2 got in our review.
The XG station Pro does lack some features of other docks, unfortunately. As far as ports go, the Pro only features a single USB 3.1 type-A connection. Many other external GPUs, such as the Mantiz Venus, feature a multitude of ports for expansion plus power delivery up to 87W. This may be a choice by Asus to reduce bandwidth overhead and improve performance and stability, however. Lastly, Asus makes no mention of power delivery. Given the relatively small 330W power supply and 1x USB 3.1 port, it seems unlikely that the XG Station Pro offers power delivery via its TB3 connection.
The XG Station Pro will be available for around US$329 in Q1 of 2018.